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Up To The Job

This week I have been writing about President Bush and his management of our country in difficult times. The response has been mixed, from people who agree with me that Bush is one of our best Presidents, to vitriol-laced screeds that he is somehow our worst President. While the latter sort are clearly unbalanced by their hatred - their refusal to recognize the greatness of President Reagan does their credibility quite a bit of damage - it seems to me that it is worthwhile to explore the way we look at Presidents.

There are three methods generally available to consider the merits of a President's accomplishments; ranking front-to-back, a grade scale such as a teacher would issue, and in-place comparisons. The first method, while an interesting exercise, is often devolved to a simple popularity contest, which really does not address the actual performance of a President. And a grade scale, while useful if applied as objectively as possible, is often the puppet of the grader, and is used to create an image rather than assess the man in total. Also, the difference in each President's time and place to address the nation's welfare to varying degrees and with shifting priorities, makes many comparisons unfair. Indeed, many leading historians decline to assess a President who served in their own lifetime, because they realize that personal bias will likely devalue the analysis they apply, as each President is awarded or penalized points simply because the historian personally likes or dislikes the man and his politics.

The third method, in-place comparisons, can also fall prey to personal manipulation, but at least an attempt to correct for bias can be made. I would further note that in-place comparisons should not be used to claim that one President was clearly "better" than another, because of the difference in each man's environment; it is one thing to say, for example, that no President since Washington would be likely to have done a better job in his place at the start of the nation, yet it might also be valid to say that no President could have done better than Lincoln with the tasks laid to his charge. The purpose here is simply to consider whether President Bush was "up to the job", as demonstrated by how other Presidents would have handled the same crises. I further note here that I am not including Bush's non-Presidential contemporaries in a comparison, either as an opportunity to praise them or rebuke them, because we cannot truly know how a "President Gore" or a "President Kerry" would have faced the real events. Only men who have truly served as Presidents can honestly be weighed on the Presidential scale.

(continued)

Setting the stage for these comparisons, therefore, requires me to consider the sort of actions which could be fairly considered without some personal requisite for success. That is, I do not consider the virtue or fault of President Bush's judicial appointments, because a Conservative or Republican would see the matter much differently than a Liberal or Democrat. Also, while I personally find Bush's efforts to reform Social Security and Medicare to be honorable and indicators of his sense of honor and duty to the country's welfare, the fact that his efforts did not result in effective legislation makes it impossible to properly consider them accomplishments. Also, too complex a comparison would make the task cumbersome and cluttered in its results. Accordingly, I look to five key matters which I contend a responsible President would have addressed, and whose success can be clearly measured. Those matters are these:

[] April 1, 2001 - A PRC fighter jet collides with a U.S. Navy Reconnaissance aircraft in International waters. The PRC pilot is killed in the crash, while the U.S. Navy plane is forced to land and its crew taken prisoner by the PRC.

[] September 11, 2001 - Terrorists from the international group "Al Qaeda" hijack four US domestic commercial aircraft, and ram two of them into the World Trade Center buildings in New York City, and a third airliner into the Pentagon.

[] Fall 2001 - The economic recession which began earlier in the year is aggravated by effects, technical and psychological, from the 9/11 attacks. The economy threatens to worsen unless the government acts.

[] October 2001 - The terrorist group Al Qaeda is directly linked to the Taliban regime in control of Afghanistan. The Taliban refuse to cooperate with demands to eject Al Qaeda, instead demonstrating a militant desire for war against the West through terrorist attacks.

[] February 2003 - The dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq continues to flout its violation of the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire terms, to support a large number of international terrorist actions, especially the tactics of suicide bombers against civilian Israeli targets, and the international consensus of the Intelligence Community is that Saddam is seeking the development of WMD, and his behavior strongly suggests he possesses stockpiles of WMD.

The situation in each of these crises is such that no President could have expected to have reliable prior knowledge sufficient to prevent the crisis from occurring, nor was U.S. policy able to anticipate these crises. It is no coincidence that four of the five defining crises of the Bush Administration emerge from international incidents.

With this in mind, the benchmarks established by the present Bush Administration are as follows:

I - The crisis, which could have ended in disaster and at times appeared in doubt, ended with improved U.S.-Sino relations and the safe return of the entire U.S. Navy crew. While often ignored by critics of the Bush Administration, this early crisis is one of his shining successes in Diplomacy, and demonstrated an often-missed subtlety to the Bush method.

II - The Bush Administration undertook a comprehensive review and overhaul of the National Defense paradigm. While controversial in places and not always well-explained, the actions taken under President Bush's authority have prevented another significant terrorist attack on U.S. soil, while keeping Civil Liberties intact.

III - The Bush Administration pursued and accomplished an aggressive set of tax cuts and system reforms, which were largely responsible for the early recovery from the recession, in addition to improving collection of federal revenues. The plan was controversial for its effect on long-term debt, but Bush's deft use of monetary tools provided critical assistance for small businesses and drove confidence for the U.S. Economy in general.

IV - The Bush Administration, despite heckling from the Left that they were inviting disaster and ignoring History, supported a bold plan which assisted Afghan partisans in overthrowing the Taliban and establishing a freely-elected government, which allowed the first-ever votes by women in that country. Terrorist camps based in Afghanistan were obliterated and their networks devastated.

V - The Bush Administration created an international coalition even larger than the one which repulsed Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, obtained both a United Nations Security Council sanction against Iraq and an authorization for the use of force from both houses of Congress, before carrying out the invasion of Iraq in alignment with the 1998 United States policy of regime change in Iraq. Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled, Saddam along with the overwhelming majority of his minions was captured and many others killed, and a democratic republic began to develop in the Mid-East nation. Despite claims which pretended the war was solely about WMD, and lies that no WMD were found in Iraq, the major objectives of invading Iraq were justified and accomplished, although the emphasis by some figureheads on nuclear material led to embarrassment when assurances by numerous intelligence agencies proved wrong on that count. Fear of a democratic republic in an Arab nation led a number of surrounding regimes to support incursions of terrorist groups, and fascist Islamic groups also fueled an insurgency which has been difficult to defeat, in some part because political enemies of the Bush Administration have played games with the issue rather than maintain an united front, which has been played by the Islamofascists for media propaganda. It should also be noted that the U.S.-led action led to collateral reforms, such as the promise by Libya's Moammar Qaddafi to renounce WMD, and the rise of self-determination demands by Lebanese citizens against Syrian occupation. The Iraq issue remains the largest effort by the Bush Administration which success remains in any doubt.

With these benchmarks in place, I now consider how other Presidents since World War 2 would have fared, given their known job performance.

I - The key qualities necessary to resolve the China crisis would appear to be an understanding of world power relationships, along with a long fuse. Accordingly, Presidents Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Ford, Nixon, Kennedy, Eisenhower, and Franklin Roosevelt would all have enjoyed success in resolving this crisis without loss of life or an escalation in tension. President Carter often "gave away the farm" in negotiations, and so would have given the PRC more than necessary, such as granting an extension of PRC airspace demands, and so I count his effort as less successful. Presidents Johnson and Truman were known for provocative and confrontational statements, especially with regard to Asia, and so I conclude that in their cases an escalation would be more likely.

II - 9/11 is a seminal historic event, and so it is difficult to precisely name how any individual would react, but the style of crisis management reveals clues. The Clinton Administration, for example, repeatedly failed to respond to Al Qaeda attacks, including the 1993 attempt to bomb the WTC, treating it instead as a matter for criminal investigation. Also, when a threat was perceived as serious, the Clinton Administration typically over-reacted with a heavy hand, as the Elian Gonzalez raid, the Waco raid, and the attack on Ruby Ridge demonstrate. The temptation for immediate retaliation was a mistake both Bush Administrations resisted successfully, but the behavior of the Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Truman, and FDR Administrations indicate that they would have immediately struck at a target of opportunity, and in the 9/11 context such action would have played to the advantage of Al Qaeda, which hoped to enflame the region in a general war. On the other hand, the Reagan, Bush I, Carter, and Kennedy Administrations would - on the basis of their reaction to provocations in their own time - have refrained from spontaneous action and paid attention to their defenses instead.

III - It is a cliché to say that Presidents get far too much praise for a good economy, and too much blame for a bad one. However, there are instances where specific and timely action - or the duty to act missed - can have tremendous effect on the Economy. The lessons of Fiscal and Monetary Policy were developed from such understanding. In my opinion, only the Bush I, Reagan, and Kennedy Administrations would have properly understood and applied the Monetary action of broad tax cuts to reignite the Economy. The Clinton, Nixon, Johnson, and FDR Administrations would have tried Fiscal tools, which would have made the deficit worse than the Bush actions did, but without similar success in improving Employment and Consumer Confidence. The Ford, Eisenhower, and Truman Administrations would have tried to ride out the recession, which in the short term at least would have weakened the Economy and destroyed confidence and job creation. The Carter Administration, with its sometimes-myopic focus on the deficit, would never have consented to deficit spending or tax cuts, and so would have done the worst of all in that circumstance.

IV - The overthrow of the Taliban was a gutsy call, the kind of thing that no poll-driven President would have attempted. Only Reagan, Nixon, FDR and Truman would have understood the need for such an action, and only FDR and Truman would have had the nerve to take on the task the way George W. Bush did. While the other Presidents would have felt obliged to respond in force, bombings and a few raids would have been the end of it, by the lights of Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, and Eisenhower.

V - The most controversial decision of George W. Bush's Presidency would have been tough on any President. For instance, most modern commentators have forgotten the harsh criticism Reagan took for liberating Grenada, an action far smaller and quicker, to say nothing of the blame smeared on him for the Marine Barracks bombing in Lebanon in 1983. We commonly see defenders of the former dictator Saddam Hussein parade on television, as if his monstrous crimes were irrelevant to the issue, and we also hear the claim - never supported by evidence - that Iraq would have been better off if we had not invaded. Certainly by that logic, 1948 Berlin was not nearly the happy-go-lucky place it was in 1944, nor could Tokyo in 1947 be said to be the happenin' place it was in 1942. And since so many in the media like to interview people with agenda in the Middle East, perhaps we should weigh the victory in the Cold War by the opinion of former KGB agents and zampolits now left unemployed with the demise of their oligarchy? In any case, only Franklin Roosevelt could be said to possess the vision and the courage to have engaged in a similar course, especially as his vision for the reformation of Germany after World War 2 is significantly similar to the Bush plan for the re-emergence of Iraq as a stable, central democratic republic in the Middle East. A gamble yes, but a worthy one. The other Presidents, honorable though their intentions are, would none of them been bold and resolute enough to decimate Al Qaeda the way the Bush plan has done, to establish a free republic in the middle of the most contentious region in the modern world. Some, like Clinton and Nixon, would have anticipated the political maneuvering by their opponents which would have made the task harder, and so they would have demurred to meet the challenge. Others, like Carter and Eisenhower, would have found the stakes too challenging and abandoned the game rather than think too deeply about the need for a long-term American commitment. And sadly, some might have been frightened by the madmen in Iran just one border away, and fled from the challenge even if their cowardice cost the country in its long-term welfare. To be courteous, I will not name those timid souls, except to observe their presence in this matter.

Those who chose to pursue the matter would have fared the same as Bush has; it is too often ignored that the enemies of America are not idle in their campaigns against us, no matter who sits in the Oval Office. Those who would have declined to invade Iraq would doubtless have avoided the present specter of constant military action, yet they would not have emerged unscathed. Saddam had already shown a willingness, indeed an eagerness, to support and sponsor terrorist organizations, especially those most active against the United States, and connections between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda were known even prior to the 2003 invasion. Consequently, failure to remove Saddam Hussein through a military invasion would not only have allowed the region to continue its devolution into chaos, feeding the ambitions of Syria and Iran along the way (why is it that anti-Bush minions never mention those ambitions, which would surely have filled the vacuum with their own armies if the Coalition had not come in?), but would also have emboldened Al Qaeda and assured it of a stable base from which to launch new and ambitious attacks on America.

Overall, I find it impossible to find any President in history who would have done as well in meeting these challenges as President George W. Bush has done, and it is inconceivable that any man could have done better. The sole question is how long this fact will be evident before Dubya receives the respect and appreciation he is so clearly overdue. That, and how long before the first howling jackal posts a comment which does nothing to establish his case, but rather spews hate and venom in their ceaseless attempt to defame the President.

PS - Chuck Simmins has an excellent non-partisan way to compare the State of the Union at this point in three Presidencies. (ht Glenn Reynolds)



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Comments (81)

DJHaven't complete... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

DJ

Haven't completed your post yet, but this made me choke violently and appears to lend insight into your manner of assessment.

"September 11, 2001 - Terrorists from the international group "Al Qaeda" hijack four US domestic commercial aircraft, and ram two of them into the World Trade Center buildings in New York City, and a third airliner into the Pentagon."
a
nd, this following your items

"The situation in each of these crises is such that no President could have expected to have reliable prior knowledge sufficient to prevent the crisis from occurring, nor was U.S. policy able to anticipate these crises"

When Bush stayed on the farm after the early August 6, 2002 PDB "Bin Laden determined to attack in the US" and did nothing because as Rice said, it was old history and who went on to say, "Who could have imagined that an airplane would be used as a missle?" don't even try to suggest what you said above. 9-11 may not have been preventable, but Bush et al did nothing. 9-11 is testimony to "asleep at the switch" and not even close to what a "Great" president would have done.

You (deliberately, of cours... (Below threshold)
Chuckg:

You (deliberately, of course) fail to address the point that the PDB did not mention /when/ or /where/ Bin Laden would attack, which would uphold DJ's statement as to lacking 'reliable prior knowledge SUFFICIENT TO PREVENT THE CRISIS FROM OCCURRING' (emphasis mine).

Stopping the 9/11 hijackings specifically would require you to, you know, have the hijacking plan in advance.

Ding Ding Ding!!!!... (Below threshold)

Ding Ding Ding!!!!

As I called it, mere minutes after posting, the first screen-spittled lie from the Left shows up. Dude doesn't even bother to read the whole article before he feels obliged to push the Gospel According to Michael Moore.

That lie is not only stone-age old and long disproved, it's embarrassingly lame. But as a public service, I will once again remind Mr. Puke that the notice he references was never anything but a general summation of past information, no more actionable than, say, a headline warning that a known carjacker will probably strike again.

As Chuck G noted, no specifics were presented, and no one - ever - has been able to suggest a way in which the 9/11 attacks could reasonably have been prevented, especially considering that the plan had been planned in detail and the actors entered the United States prior to Bush even taking the oath of office as President.

I do, however, appreciate Mr. Puke's proof of my prediction, that malice and deceit would motivate the first response, rather than thoughtful consideration of the topic.

ARepuklican -The l... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

ARepuklican -

The line - Bin Laden determined to attack in the US - is so vague as to be nearly useless. Millions of square miles, thousands of cities and towns, literally millions of targets of opportunity - and what have you got? They're determined to attack. That's so non-specific - what was he supposed to do?

Were any names mntioned? Any tactics? Flight numbers or dates? Anything AT ALL that would have pointed in a useful direction?

Okay, let's figure that someone DID leak the names and flight numbers - can you imagine the criticsm if these 19 assholes had been pulled from their flights and jailed on suspicion of terrorism? Where's the proof? Oh, they had BOX CUTTERS, and that's proof they were going to hijack the planes? Yeah, right, it's all a Bushitler/Halliburton plot to make us all afraid!

Tell you what - take your PC in to be fixed when it's working right. Tell the tech you think it's going to break down sometime in the next year. He's going to ask you for anything you might have noticed - hard drive whine, glitchy programs, erratic video - he needs info to go on in order to figure out what your problem is.

So you think 9/11 could have been avoided? That we had enough data? Dude, call Miss Cleo - your psychic powers could be real moneymakers.

I'm determined to steal som... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'm determined to steal someone's wallet somewhere in the US. Now stop me.

"I do, however, appreciate ... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"I do, however, appreciate Mr. Puke's proof of my prediction, that malice and deceit would motivate the first response, rather than thoughtful consideration of the topic."

Posted by: DJ Drummond

You might as well have predicted that the sun would rise in the east tomorrow.

The absurdity of the post a... (Below threshold)
Frank:

The absurdity of the post above, most importantly "it is inconceivable that any man could have done better" are hardly comprehensible (I know, it's cause I'm a dumb liberal, right?).

With every post from this idol worshiping lunatic, I wonder how the good folks at Wizbang can possibly allow him such a visible forum on their mostly respectable blog.

I think a critical factor f... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

I think a critical factor for judging Presidents (and actually anyone) is evaluating his (or her) empathy for other human beings.

Now, before you jump on me, I'm not saying anything about Bush here. It's more generic than that.

Because high-profile political figures are in danger if they go out among normal people, they are dangerously isolated. They lose touch. A President may be a nice human being, but forget what life is like for ordinary people. I think this problem exists for politicians of both parties.

But, because crazy people shoot at Reagan, and Ford and Kennedys, etc., we've got this big problem.

I think the last time a major politician really learned from ordinary people was when Robert Kennedy campaigned in 1968. He started out as a tough, no-nonsense loyalist working for his brother. But when his brother was killed, RFK went out and saw ordinary people. He stopped living in the bubble of a rich and privileged politician. And then he got shot----to the detriment of everyone because now all of our politicians are (sensibly) afraid to learn from us ordinary folks.

Mantis -Exactly. ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Mantis -

Exactly. Without info to go on, just knowing about a vague threat is nearly useless.

Besides - can you imagine the screaming from the Civil Rights crowd IF they'd managed to intercept the 19 before 9/11?

DJ, You need to watch Loose... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

DJ, You need to watch Loose Change. If nothing else, you can refute it point by point. (GOOD LUCK!) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7866929448192753501

While the latter sort ar... (Below threshold)
Larkin:

While the latter sort are clearly unbalanced by their hatred - their refusal to recognize the greatness of President Reagan does their credibility quite a bit of damage -

Well I for one will eagerly recognize Reagan as one of our greatest Presidents while asserting that Bush is one of our worst.

I think a comparison of the larger "wars" that each man fought is apt. Reagan led a war against Soviet imperialism that ultimately led to the downfall of the Soviet system and its satellite Communist regimes. Bush is leading a similar war against Islamic extremism. Both struggles are global in nature and pit the free world against a hateful, totalitarian ideology.

There the similarities end. Reagan understood Communism and Communists because he fought against them most of his life starting with his stint as head of the Screen Actors Guild. He studied the Communist threat for years and had already developed a strategy for defeating Communism before he became President.

GW on the other hand, didn't know the first thing about Islamic extremism before taking office and he doesn't appear to have learned much since 9/11. For example, he incorrectly believes that Islamic extremism has its roots in a lack of democracy or opportunity ignoring the fact that many terrorists have been born, raised and/or lived extensively in the capitalist democracies of Western Europe.

Ronald Reagan used proxies whenever possible (the Contras in Nicaragua, UNITA in Angola, freedom fighters in Afghanistan) while avoiding the commitment of US troops into conflicts.

GW, on the other hand, has embroiled US troops into a bloody civil war in Iraq that has little direct relationship to the war on Islamic extremism. He fails to comprehend the 1500-year old schism between the Sunnis and the Shiites and how it is playing out today in Iraq. He naively believes that he can somehow "win" this centuries-old civil war between the two Islamic sects.

While Reagan husbanded and protected the strength of our military, GW has needlessly squandered the military's strength and is responsible for the loss of tens of thousands of men and women who would have been absolutely vital in any future conflict. As a result, the military is diminished and depleted in strength. Readiness is down and equipment loss has been staggering.

Reagan smartly sought to divide our enemies as he did by further driving a wedge between China and the Soviet Union placed there by Nixon. Bush does the exact opposite by lumping all of our enemies together (Al Qaeda, Sunnis extremists, Hezbollah, Shiite extremists) into a single, ambiguous entity thereby making the war more difficult to pursue and to explain to the American people.

In short, Reagan was a brilliant leader who had a keen understanding of geopolitical grand strategy. Bush, on the other hand, is WAY WAY over his head as events of the last few years have demonstrated.

bryanD,Why should ... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

bryanD,

Why should DJ do that? It has already been done by Popular Mechanics.

You need to read it.

Do the "loose change" dudes... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Do the "loose change" dudes assert that Bush Cheney actually flew the planes into the towers or just hired the folks who did? Or are they the ones who insist the passengers on flight 93 are still alive, living underground in part of some vast Bushitler conspiracy? What an f'ed up country this is becoming.....

bryanD, you really need to ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

bryanD, you really need to consider your sources when making arguments. Loose Change, Jack Chick, and Wikipedia are not reliable sources. You sound like, and probably are, a tin-foil nut.

Here's a good debate between the Loose Change hacks and the Popular Mechanics investigators (It's from Democracy Now, so I'm sure you won't object). The filmmakers never even bothered to investigate many of their basic claims, they just make them and dismiss any contradictory evidence.

Here's the original Pop. Mech. 9/11 myths article

Here's many resources that debunk the Loose Change claims

Nikkolai - Put som... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Nikkolai -

Put something up on the net, and you'll find someone who'll believe it wholeheartedly. (I still shudder when I remember the sites I found that touted drinking your own urine as a health aid.)

can someone remind me why w... (Below threshold)
Dave:

can someone remind me why we went to war against the nazis when it was Japan that attacked us? i'm pretty confused on that, and it is impossible for me to understand things when more than one thing in this world is happening at a time. If only I could just grasp that a single man isn't to blame for all the wrongs and injustices in the world i might be able to see the big picture.

Of course there were terrorists in syria, lebanon, iran and every country in the middle east EXCEPT Iraq, thats a fact. Saddaam kept that place in order (by digging holes and throwing his people in the ground by the thousands). I mean stability in Iraq is the goal, and it was stable under Sadaam, it sure isn't now. We shouldn't have killed sadaam, but handed the country back over to him and stepped back and apologized.

I think it is such a shame that Bush can't find the "Tallest man in Afganistan". It must be a conspiracy! You know Bush let the bin laden family out of the country when all other flights were grounded. 9/11 was an inside job! Bush is setting bin laden up to take the fall! of course!

ok, i'm tired of all this typing. I'm gonna go fire up my crackpipe and hug a tree...

Larkin, you are a liar only... (Below threshold)

Larkin, you are a liar only minutely superior to Mr. Puke. So, Reagan's experience defending Hollywood from Communists gave him the necessary background to know the capabilities of the Warsaw Pact's battle orders? Perhaps his stint as Governor of California somehow conferred on him the ability to know the inner contemplations of the Politburo?

It is to laugh!

Seriously, Reagan's ability to defeat the USSR rose from his study of the Soviet political animal, and his attention to his military advisors, as well as his understanding of History. Despite your attempts to claim otherwise, George W. Bush possesses the same qualities of mind and character with respect to the Islamofascist threat.

As the dearth of homeland terrorist attacks since 9/11/01 rather loudly proves.

Oh, and i think the popular... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Oh, and i think the popular mechanics interview was excellent. They gave those two ignorant twits a sound thrashing on the actual facts of what happens when planes crash. Who is more trustworthy as a source, A non-biased Engineer that writes for a magazine about scientific and mechanical truths? or a couple snot nosed college students that have a liberal axe to grind? I think the Popular Mechanics guys win in a war of credibility hands down.

Mantis -... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis -

Exactly. Without info to go on, just knowing about a vague threat is nearly useless.

Actually, I gave even more info than the PDB, which simply said "attack". I told you I'm going to steal a wallet. All you have to do is monitor all wallets in the US. Piece of cake.

DJ:As the dearth of ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

DJ:
As the dearth of homeland terrorist attacks since 9/11/01 rather loudly proves.

Dave:
But Bush is still Hitler!

On another serious note: I don't mean to poke fun as i did in the posts above, but liberals and facts go together like oil and water. They both push each other away and cannot be mixed with the other. Not to say your post wasn't brilliant, but to argue these points with liberals will never convince them of anything, but hopefully the brilliant post you made above can inform some un-biased people or provide a fresh perspective that helps a right wing ideologue like myself stay upbeat instead of listening to the garbage out there like this loose change bullcrap.

returning to subject ..Bush... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

returning to subject ..Bush's Greatness? ...let's start with something simple..
Should not our President be able to demonstrate his knowledge of the English language, noun/verb agreement...a sophistication that exceeds a typical H.S. sophmore...are you never embarrassed by what has made the core of "Bushisms"?

Iraq...I am sorry...our President relieved our top Generals in Iraq...isn't he the Commander-in-Chief?
It can't be bad advice...he gave Freedom Medels to a CIA chief who blew WMD's..he also gave one to the man who led a govt. that disbanded the Iraqi Army..an action everyone(including Bush)admits was wrong...
Katrina? This whole nation saw Bush remain on vacation while the horror of the Superdome played out...

We, the majority of Americans, have lost faith on the ability of our President to lead. This did not happen overnight, and was difficult for many...
Our President had an amazing opportunity after 9/11...but he blew it...

j r , I did read the Pop Me... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

j r , I did read the Pop Mechanics article. Why were the WTC center support posts not shown on their schematic. Odd.

Oh good, nogo brought more ... (Below threshold)

Oh good, nogo brought more fairy tales.

No facts, though.

FACTS! We don't need no sti... (Below threshold)
Mike:

FACTS! We don't need no stinkin' FACTS! We have OPINIONS!

Here's where I have a probl... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Here's where I have a problem with President's of both parties:

Can't you guys learn to pronounce "nuclear"?! I mean, if you're going to have the power to end all life on the planet, you should at least be able to avoid saying nuke-u-lar and sound like an idiot...

"sound like an idiot"</i... (Below threshold)

"sound like an idiot"

I already promised to leave Al Gore out of this ...

DJ: nogo's objectively corr... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

DJ: nogo's objectively correct that Bush gave Tennant a Medal of Freedom, having already pressured get-along Tennanant to cook up the half-baked Intelligence Estimate sUpporting the neocon war. The NIE usually takes several months to prepare; this one took a fortnight, tops. After its release, Tennant's famous tearful breakdown occurred. Before or after he was fired for being W's fallguy, I'm not sure. But then came the medal.

Where was Clinton during th... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Where was Clinton during the hurricanes of his presidency? Behind his desk sending money out, which is what Bush did too. And where did this idea come from that presidents are supposed to protect people from natural disasters. People that are too pre-occupied to leave the area when impending doom for that area has been announced at least a week in advance? Common sense dictates that Hurricane + below sea level = flood. Why do you think the ocean is under water?? IT'S UNDER SEA LEVEL!!! WOW!!!

I would also just let you know that as Commander in Chief of the United States of America George Bush has more information on the whole subject of the war, and due to the fact that it is a war, he can't send you a personal memo describing everything he is doing, going to do, and everything he has done because people like you end up getting it published in the New York Times and the enemy learns what we are doing. If Bush failed at anything, it would be these horrendus leaks that liberals seem to keep getting their grubby little hands on and publishing them for our enemy. I think the failure to prosecute those responsible for those leaks is nearly criminal...

Americans showed their grea... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Americans showed their greatness and ingenuity the day they demonstrated that they can harness the power of the nukule.

And where did this... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
And where did this idea come from that presidents are supposed to protect people from natural disasters.

I keep hearing Bush say that he's sworn to protect the American people. I haven't heard the exception about natural disasters. Is there one?

BTW, in his oath of office, he swears to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution...but I've never heard him mention that...

Facts scare the heck outta ... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Facts scare the heck outta moonbats, like the crucifix to Dracula. I have family members who are so afflicted (and I love them just the same)--but arguments with them are very frustrating. Any time I present facts (and the internet is invaluable for that), they get very emotional and upset. Facts just get in the way of their FEELINGS. And they are good people, they just tend to think with their hearts. The brain is better for thinking, to me anyway.

mantis--nukule?!</... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

mantis--

nukule?!

LOL!!

May I suggest that nogo and... (Below threshold)

May I suggest that nogo and his ilk look at the much-pilloried FEMA response time to Hurricane Katrina, and compare it to the much-praised FEMA response time to Hurricane Andrew?

And may I also suggest at least a modest attempt by the Left to address the topic under discussion, which is not "Anything That Can Be Thrown Out As An Accusation, No Matter How Pointless Or Vapid"?

Well, it is true that in a battle of facts in context, the Left arrives unarmed, but that is by their choice, it seems.

dammit, i knew i forgot to ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

dammit, i knew i forgot to mention the neocon war or neocons in my first post. You guys are so good with this flashy lingo. I guess thats why you're the liberals! *shrugs*

As far as the intelligence, it was supported by every reliable source in the world, so don't even try to tell me that it should be discarded. I think that if I could use hindsight to make decisions i'd be a millionaire and the happiest man alive. Unfortunately living on earth as a human being, i don't get to enjoy that luxury. I am taking a stab in the dark, but i don't think Bush or any other human being is afforded the ability to see into the future or use hindsight to make decisions. It's impossible.

Oh! I almost forgot, Bill Clinton kept the Iraq stuff going and before he left office him and the democrats were all saying the same thing Bush was saying about Iraq (using the same intelligence Bush used!!) The Democrats just failed to act on it and passed the buck to the next president. Fortunately Bush didn't just bomb an aspirin factory and shake his finger at Sadaam. (He did it for daddy! say it with me libs!)

DJWe comm... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

DJ

We commonly see defenders of the former dictator Saddam Hussein parade on television

How true! Don Rumsfeld's handshake comes to mind...

Publicus - I keep he... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Publicus -
I keep hearing Bush say that he's sworn to protect the American people. I haven't heard the exception about natural disasters. Is there one?

BTW, in his oath of office, he swears to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution...but I've never heard him mention that...
-------------------------------

Dave -
I would like to know how any president has ever protected a person from a natural disaster? Hoe conceivable is it to do anything more than tell people it's coming and to get the F out of the way, as Bush did numerous times about a week in advance. In the case of Katrina, you can say it was Bush's fault all day long, but in the real world, when i do things or don't do them it's considered my own fault. If i forget to get up for work, it's my ass. If i walk into a wall. it's my fault. Same applies here. Another thing is that Bush couldn't just over-ride the state. If Bush would have came in with troops and took over, kathleen blanco would have had leagal standing against the federal government and thats a fact.

And as far as the constitution bit, he is the one who is trying fulfill that duty of protecting people by listening to overseas phone conversations to find terrorists but somehow thats a violation of privacy... Funny how that constitution can be a "living document" when you libs want it to be.

Larkin, you are a liar o... (Below threshold)
Larkin:

Larkin, you are a liar only minutely superior to Mr. Puke. So, Reagan's experience defending Hollywood from Communists gave him the necessary background to know the capabilities of the Warsaw Pact's battle orders?

I highly recommend that you read Reagan's War: The Epic Story of His Forty-Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism.

Every man is shaped by his lifetime of experiences. Reagan's history fighting the communists in Hollywood was instrumental in developing his antipathy for Communist ideology. If Reagan had not become such an ardent anti-Communist during his Hollywood years he might never have dedicated himself to defeating Soviet Communism in later years. His experience as head of SAG helped him understand their motivations and methodology. Effectively taking over the Hollywood unions would have been an important achievement for the communists. We have Reagan to thank (among others) for stopping them.

Warsaw Pact battle orders? Reagan defeated the Soviets without firing a shot. It wasn't a military victory as much as it was an ideological victory.

Dave--Just a frien... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Dave--

Just a friendly warning: you don't want to get me started on the Declaration, the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. You're out of your league...trust me.

DJ, no attack on our soil s... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

DJ, no attack on our soil since 9/11/01? You must either concede that no attacked occurred between 2/92 and 11/01 (9-years with 8 during the Clinton administration) or embassies are US soil, and two of our embassies were attacked last year.

Either way, Clinton has a better track record, so take your pick.

mantis, thanks for the deba... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

mantis, thanks for the debate link! PM is getting their butts kicked!

DJ, just a small comment on... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

DJ, just a small comment on the spy plan incident (#1).

The Chinese attack our plane in international space, and hold the crew for 10-days and keep the plane for 3-months.

So what did Bush do? Did he talk tough? Did we threaten with sanctions, or trade embargoes? No, he sent a letter saying that he was sorry, and what did the Chinese do? They sent our plane back to us in pieces after studying our most sensitive spy technology and hardware.

mantis, thanks for the d... (Below threshold)
mantis:

mantis, thanks for the debate link! PM is getting their butts kicked!mantis, thanks for the debate link! PM is getting their butts kicked!

You're deluded.

mantis, Now i KNOW you have... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

mantis, Now i KNOW you haven't watched your own link! Thanks for the ammunition! (16 FOOT hole is supposedly 90 feet, though standard windows are in view for comparison! HA!) And the beauty part is both PM "de-bunkers" are lispers! One wears those plastic granny glasses, too. I know, that's unfair, but this video's too good. I'm gonna permalink this. Live-blog over. And thanks again!

Despite your attempts to... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

Despite your attempts to claim otherwise, George W. Bush possesses the same qualities of mind and character with respect to the Islamofascist threat.


This post must be a shrewd attempt to gather hits for purely sensational purposes.

No one could be this mind-numbingly stupid and ignorant. Fortunately, the rest of the U.S. is smarter than this.

Guess like-minded dummies gather together.

You know, there are a varie... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

You know, there are a variety of ways to deal with bad people, and you need to think hard about which you're going to do.

I mean, when the Soviets controlled Czechoslovakia all those years, did we make a mistake by not nuking them? I don't think so. The Soviets were in the wrong, but we weren't weak by not nuking them. We were living in the real world where our enemy had nukes, too.

If it were 1968, I think you guys would be saying I was a big fan of the communists. Which would be untrue and completely missing the point.

When we invaded Iraq----and Saddam's regime was very bad indeed----we were correct in identifying that government as bad. But how many bad governments are in the world? How many dictators? How many death squads?

You know, it's a big world and there are lots of bad people. So, we need to pick and chose our battles. And we need to use our brains, not only bombs, to solve our problems.

I've heard the arguments----Saddam violated U.N. resolutions, he gassed the Kurds, etc. Yes. I know he was bad. But he posed far less of a threat to us than others, and he was largely contained.

But we were CERTAIN that he had WMD. Well, we were wrong. And people do make mistakes.

But did we learn from our mistake? No, this administration says that even if Iraq didn't have WMDs, they would have done the same thing. Because he had other bad qualities.

I also remember that Bush didn't only cite WMDs as reasons for war----but it was the heart of his case. His administrations talked of a mushroom cloud over an American city. He knows, we ALL know, that we didn't go to war out of a passion to free the Iraqi people. Because there are many, many countries in the world that are not free. Countries which you and the president never gives a thought to. And we can't free everybody by invading country after country, of course.

Now, two-thirds or more of the public have seen enough. On this, I'm with them.

MANTIS! The pm metrosexuals... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

MANTIS! The pm metrosexuals just finished their apologia with a gambit: a sideways accusation of "holocaust denial"!!! CLASSIC! Live-blog over and out!

... anyone notice that the ... (Below threshold)

... anyone notice that the Libs are moving further and further away from the sybstance of the article, and relying, as ever, on talking points and redundant - if utterly insipid - insults?

DJ --You mean, not... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

DJ --

You mean, not great substance like:

Larkin, you are a liar only minutely superior to Mr. Puke.
No, I mean the substance of... (Below threshold)

No, I mean the substance of the article. The response to Larkin was in his own vernacular, so he could understand it.

Yeah, I see how calling som... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Yeah, I see how calling someone a liar can facilitate understanding.

This post so full of sycoph... (Below threshold)
Brian:

This post so full of sycophantic bullsh*t, opinions stated as facts, and obvious lies that it doesn't even merit rebuttal on its lame attempt at historical analysis. To wit:

from people who agree with me that Bush is one of our best Presidents, to vitriol-laced screeds that he is somehow our worst President. While the latter sort are clearly unbalanced by their hatred

But the former are not unbalanced by their love? Of course not, because they agree with you.

the actions taken under President Bush's authority have prevented another significant terrorist attack on U.S. soil,

There's nothing to suggest anything of the kind. As Barney noted, Clinton had a longer "prevention" streak than Bush, and you guys claim Clinton did nothing. By your measure, Bush's actions also prevented an invasion of alien zebras.

while keeping Civil Liberties intact.

Your opinion. Which differs from the opinions of a majority of the population (oh, you don't believe polls) and at least two federal judges.

The plan was controversial for its effect on long-term debt

Which you apparently brush aside as being insignificant.

The Bush Administration, despite heckling from the Left that they were inviting disaster and ignoring History, supported a bold plan

Lies. No one on the left disagreed with Bush on toppling the Taliban. Just pure lies.

which assisted Afghan partisans in overthrowing the Taliban and establishing a freely-elected government

But let's forget that the Taliban is now making a comeback in Afghanistan, and last year showed more violence than any other previous year.

(www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-06-19-taliban-afghanistan-cover_x.htm)

which allowed the first-ever votes by women in that country.

Oh, they can vote! Well, let's ignore all the other abuses they're suffering.

(www.hrw.org/press/2002/12/herat1217.htm)

Terrorist camps based in Afghanistan were obliterated and their networks devastated.

So that they can now set up shop in Pakistan.

(abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=2816769&page=1)

The Bush Administration created an international coalition even larger than the one which repulsed Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait

Don't forget Poland!

Despite claims which pretended the war was solely about WMD

Those would be Bush's claims.

and lies that no WMD were found in Iraq

More lies from you. Bush himself has repeatedly stated that Iraq had no WMD. You and other desperate loyalists cling to the few degraded, rusted, obsolete canisters found buried and forgotten from the 80's. But listen to Bush:

Yesterday, Bush used the clearest language to date nailing the question shut. "Iraq did not have the weapons that our intelligence believed were there,"

(www.public-action.com/911/no-wmd-sdut/)

It doesn't matter that discarded scraps were found. The justification for invading was based on Bush's intelligence reports, and he admitted that we found nothing that was in the intelligence reports

although the emphasis by some figureheads on nuclear material led to embarrassment

we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

--Bush

(archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/10/07/bush.transcript/)

Is Bush who you meant by "some figureheads"?

It should also be noted that the U.S.-led action led to collateral reforms, such as ... the rise of self-determination demands by Lebanese citizens against Syrian occupation.

And also single-handedly silenced the rights activists in Syria, for whom we "collaterally" demonstrated that a fight for rights would bring them nothing but disaster.

"Now, talking about democracy and freedom has become very difficult and sensitive. The people are not believing these thoughts anymore. When the U.S. came to Iraq, it came in the name of democracy and freedom. But all we see are bodies, bodies, bodies."

(www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/25/AR2006102501893.html)

This is boring. You have too many lies and distortions per sentence. So I'll stop here.

The final evaluation might ... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

The final evaluation might be closer to Truman.

Truman was dealt a tough hand also with the bomb, the post-war stuff with the Russians and Korea at a time with the American people were tired of war. Not to mention the post-war economic transition.

His popularity rating at the end of his run was about 31%.

It was only much later that historians generally moved him into a high group, not the greatest, but fairly high.

Reagan goes in the top group - the greatest Presidents. He was revolutionary in:

1) Lowering the top tax rate from 70% to 28% changing investments from tax shelters to growth producing business.
2) Deregulating Oil & Gas (and other things) getting rid of gas lines while the price actually went down.
3) Change in FED from managing unemployment targets to inflation and growth targets - the two longest economic booms in US history followed.
4) "Tear down this wall"
5) "Government is the problem not the solution"
6) Engaging the Soviets on all fronts in particular military technology and spending.

Bush did lower taxes - and just at the right time too - in the face of a dotcom bust, 911, Katrina, etc. However the Bush cuts were not the revolutionary change in direction that Reagan's were. Bush also took on a global threat as you say, but there is no telling the result yet.

I think if events are kind to him for the next ten years, and the Middle East resolves to the better, that Bush might make it to the near great, tops.

Very good. Not only are yo... (Below threshold)
Sue:

Very good. Not only are you requiring your audience to have a grasp of American history in the last century, you are also presenting one of the most unbiased views I have read in the past six years.

Keep up the good work.

Some one please remind me N... (Below threshold)
Sue:

Some one please remind me NEVER to post anything, anywhere without checking the comments first? It is beyond juvenile.

Who here believes that the ... (Below threshold)
Larkin:

Who here believes that the end result of Bush's intervention in Iraq will be a wave of democracy and freedoms sweeping over the Middle East? I don't think anyone believes that anymore. Just look at Gaza and Lebanon much less Iraq.

If anything democracy has been set back decades in the Middle East. Imagine the people of Egypt looking at Iraq right now. Do you think they are envious?

So, unlike Reagan's total defeat of Soviet Communism, Bush's grand experiment is highly highly unlikely have a similar outcome. The most likely outcome is an Iraq teetering on the brink of a failed state for decades to come (regardless of when/whether we pull out) and a perpetuation of the authoritarian regimes in the region.

Of course, if revolutions start breaking out in the Middle East like they did in E Europe then I'll be the first to admit Bush was right. I think he was wrong and he didn't fully grasp the complexities of the area like the thousand-year schism between the Sunnis and Shiites. History will record that, unlike Reagan, Bush hadn't done his homework.


I also remember that Bu... (Below threshold)
marc:

I also remember that Bush didn't only cite WMDs as reasons for war----but it was the heart of his case. His administrations talked of a mushroom cloud over an American city. He knows, we ALL know, that we didn't go to war out of a passion to free the Iraqi people. :: by Publicus on January 25, 2007 5:24 PM

And its a bad thing to emphasize the most threatening scenario? How so?

Doesn't the used car shill steer you away from the less important features of the car and towards what he feels you will think is more important or desirable?

More to the point; Didn't Clinton sell the idea of the Balkins war (an "illegal" war, nay "quagmire," we're still in BTW and the left NEVER screams about) with the idea of hundreds of thousands of bodies in mass graves? And did so because he knew politically the US citizenry wouldn't buy into what was essentially a EU problem?

To date worse case estimate is the mass graves held a number in the 5 figure range and far from hundreds of thousands. So Clinton lied.........

Using the lefts criteria now he did.

Why should DJ do that? It has already been done by Popular Mechanics. You need to read it.
Posted by: J.R. at January 25, 2007 03:31 PM

And here as well.

This post is so filled with... (Below threshold)
drlava:

This post is so filled with error I wouldn't know where to begin to refute this.

OK lets take this line:

"The Bush Administration created an international coalition even larger than the one which repulsed Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait"

That is simply a lie.

bryanD at January 25, 2007 ... (Below threshold)
snowballs:

bryanD at January 25, 2007 04:54 PM,

This is the only Loose Change information you'll need.

http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=911_morons

Holy shit - where the hell is my wallet?

Well, Drlava -Prov... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Well, Drlava -

Prove it's a lie. I'm sure you can find the info out on the web to show you're right.

Of course, you've got to establish a goal. Shall we simply establish that the number of countries represented in Operation Desert Storm represents the size of the coalition then, and the number of countries represented in Operation Iraqi Freedom represents the size of the coalition now?

I get 37 to 44. Might be off by one each, kind of tricky counting those little flag symbols, after all. And by the way - we're looking at what was established for crossing the border into Iraq, not what occured after a year or three when the countries called their troops home. In the case of Italy...

On September 21, 2006, Italian forces handed over Dhi Qar province in southern Iraq to newly-trained Iraqi security forces, thus ending their military mission: "The Italian contingent is going back. The mission is accomplished -- the security of the province is in your hands", Minister of Defence Arturo Parisi said to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
It's easy to call something a lie - but if it ain't, you can only hope nobody will bother to research it on the internet.

Ruby Ridge occurred in Augu... (Below threshold)
a4g:

Ruby Ridge occurred in August of 1992, during the Bush Administration. (Yeah, I couldn't believe it wasn't a Clinton hit either.)

I think there have been few Presidents in the position that George Bush has deliberately placed himself: with history's Damaclean sword poised over his legacy.

If he can transform Iraq-- and it is his to do alone-- history will view him as a true giant. If not, he will be relegated to the "grand disappointment" shelf, alongside the Wilsons, Hoovers, and Van Burens.

DJ, Mantis, Chuckg and Laws... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

DJ, Mantis, Chuckg and Lawson and others

In spite of whay all of you try to say to knock down my comment ,it is a matter of record from a number of people including Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neill among others that:

in the transition after the 2001 election, the Bush Admin was fixated on Iraq

that they discounted the warnings from the Clinton Administration in regard to the threat posed by Al Qaeda

that Tennant and others were running around DC as early as July 2001 w/ "their hair on fire" w/ regard to increased chatter about something coming from the terrorists

that the efforts made by Clarke to deal w/ a possible terrorist threat were relegated by the Bush Admin. to the back burner

and that the PDB of August 6 led to no action on the part of the Bush Admin w/ Bush remaining at the ranch ala pre-Katrina.

While there may have been "no actionable" intelligence as was claimed viz-a-viz the interception of a specific plan, there was little or nothinmg done, apart from waiting. To say that there was nothing to be done because the 8/6 PDB suggested a threat w/ no usable info and that therefore Bush could not have been expected to do anything is prepoaterous. He could have done his mightiest to emphasize and demand intelligence and insist that there be inter-agency cooperation. A great leader would have attempted some response to the warnings beyond waiting at the ranch.

It is quite likely that 9-11 could not have been prevented but it is also fairly well-established that Bush did nothing.

Had Bush taken command as a "great" president, something more fruitful might have been gleaned from the disparate bits of intelligence that remained unconnected.

There is enough of a cloud over this whole matter that, on this basis alone, Bush will be lucky in the eyes of history to not be considered to have been "asleep at the switch" or negligent.

DJ, no matter how you want to try to slice it, one cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Holy shit - where the he... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Holy shit - where the hell is my wallet?

You were warned.

I blame Bush.

Larkin, I too can't underst... (Below threshold)
groucho:

Larkin, I too can't understand how anyone at this point can honestly believe the Iraq endgame is the establishment of a solid democracy that will be a model for other Middle East states. At first it was naive, now it's criminal. Iraq will never be what the neocons thought it would. Time to stop the American blood spilling for this madness.

AR -You even admit... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

AR -

You even admit it yourself - no actionable intelligence was provided. What should they have done, aside from waiting? Oh, wait - ratchet up intelligence efforts! And wouldn't the Dems have LOVED that - more proof that Bush was a fucking moron, worried about something that MIGHT happen, that Clinton didn't really worry or do anything about, so how much of a threat could there really be!

When even Mantis doesn't support you, AR, you've got a thin, thin logic chain going. Hindsight's always 20-20 - you can ALWAYS see the things done wrong leading up to catastrophies AFTER the catastrophy hits. You seem to think it reasonable that Bush should have known everything about the attack - but I'll bet you could have been shown the same evidence on 9/10 and you'd have laughed your ass off at the idea that four planes would have been hijacked the next day.

The question is - was any lesson LEARNED from that? Was the information wall (established during the Clinton era) between the CIA and the FBI removed to facilitate information transfer? Were plans put into place to keep things like this from happening again?

5 years later - we haven't had a repeat. I'll take that as evidence that they learned enough from 9/11 to stop the same sort of attempt. Will that be enough to stop another attempt, of a different type? We'll see. As the saying goes, we have to be lucky EVERY time - those wanting to attck us only have to get through the net once.

And, the FBI tracked down n... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

And, the FBI tracked down numerous plots internal to the US, and God knows how many of them, and overseas activities of terrorists, were foiled.

I have a feeling that when history is written, and when all the facts are in--not all are now because it is a war of intelligence services even more than armies--it will reflect well on the President.

5 years later - we... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
5 years later - we haven't had a repeat. I'll take that as evidence that they learned enough from 9/11 to stop the same sort of attempt.

THAT's evidence?!! Well, then we must have figured it out after the first WTC attack, because 5 years later they still hadn't attacked again...

Carl Bernstein rates the "g... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

Carl Bernstein rates the "great president Bush" as worse than Nixon.

Here is something that all ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Here is something that all you lefties with the yellow stripe down your back cannot dispute--GEORGE W. BUSH will be your PRESIDENT for the next TWO years. Har de har har. Let er rip now----------------

After the first attack, the... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

After the first attack, there were few differences in how trucks were rented.

Since 9/11, flying commercial air has become annoying at best due to increased screening. I don't particularly care to take off my shoes and take off everything metal and put it in one of those bins for x-ray. Admittedly, the clowns at the TSA haven't let anyone through YET who's caused harm... those the six Imams a few months back were suspicious.

Do the screenings help? I couldn't say. One big change, I believe, is the knowledge that a hijacking is now very possibly death for the passengers, whereas pre 9/11 the flight crews were instructed to go along with the hijackers. After all, fighting back might cause problems.

Um, tell me again, which party most complained about pilots being allowed to carry guns?

Somehow I think, as Mitchell does, we're not seeing a tenth of what's being stopped.

GEORGE W. BUSH wil... (Below threshold)
Publicus:
GEORGE W. BUSH will be your PRESIDENT for the next TWO years.

If so, that will be our misfortune. But he may be impeached and removed from office.

aRepukelican: Bush asleep a... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

aRepukelican: Bush asleep at the wheel. snicker

You should be getting more scared as each day goes by. It is now becoming clear the Slick and the Misses knew there was an exact attack planned using aircraft as milliles and I's clear they did not pass that info on the the incoming administration ( I heard the Missed state that they knew and passed -that's when an aid stopped her and told her the briefing was never given). The only advantage I can come up with for 70% hearins loss in the ability to read lips. Now we know that Socks stole that very information with Slick's hand written notes on the documents and destroyed them. Put Socks on the lie detector and ask pointed questions, If he lies see if he's like some of Slicks former criminal pardners, willing to spend years in prison to protect him.

aRepukelican, Are you really a CAIR emmployee (terrorist) posting on here and feeding the simple minded dhimmi's a line? I figured out what is wrong with the murdering Islamist, their goat is in heat and they are suffering from erectile disfunction. Is that your problem also? Maybe we should give all the dhimmi's a pocket full of pills and they'd play with themselves until they went blind. The're already deaf and 'dum'.

scrapiron, aRepukelican is ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

scrapiron, aRepukelican is the current Bruce Lee of the comments section. I haven't seen hide nor hair of Porky since aR sent him to google heaven.

"pubic hair"-sure he will.<... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"pubic hair"-sure he will.

bryanD, I'm sure you meant ... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

bryanD, I'm sure you meant Puke is the Sara Lee of the comments section, as he's had his lunch eaten multiple times per comment section. His consistent volume does not accuracy make. His childishness has resulted in him being ignored by most of the sane commenters on the left and the right here, except when they feel like taking a swing at an easy target. You've become more incomprehensible with every passing day, and the tid-bits you toss out are as useful as a speedometer that reads out in furlongs per fortnight. While you have expressed that you performed military service, and deserve gratittude for that, that claim does not extend to granting you any kind of halo of reliability, and your sad devotion to the loose marbles of the poorly-assembled collection of mistakes, missatements, misrepresentations, and myths called "Loose Change" sends your credibility and rationality somewhere around that of Ted Kaczynski, sans postage stamps and chemical stains.

Meanwhile, I think mantis should start his own blog as a rational member of the thoughtful opposition, DJ did an excellent analysis of Presidential reactions, even if I would have been more charitable to our 42nd President in certain cases, and now I'm off to find out where my wallet went to. . .

Oh, and jhow, I know you me... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Oh, and jhow, I know you mean well, for a given definition of "well," but you could try to raise the tone a little. There's certainly a place for banter, and some of the more strident members of the radical opposition do merit forceful responses, but it is best to fire for effect, not volume.

"Johnie Irving"-And ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"Johnie Irving"-
And you are who to be telling someone else what to do. Hmmm don't remember you being elected to police this blog. Now I could be wrong as you sound as if you are "trying" to make eveyone believe that you are the intellectual nerd on this blog.

Sometimes it seems like the... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Sometimes it seems like the rhetoric here gets so heated and nasty precisely because the stakes (which pretty much totals up to ego-stroking 'prestige' on this blog) are so very small. Nothing we say or do here is going to make much difference in the grand scheme of things - and being nasty to each other give some momentary self-satisfaction but no lasting good.

It IS possible to talk to each other without rancor... wait a sec.

Mantis, did you grab MY wallet also? Dammit!

John Irving,You kn... (Below threshold)
mantis:

John Irving,

You know what they say about wrestling with pigs...

mantis, you'll notice, apar... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

mantis, you'll notice, apart from the occasional cheap (but effective) shot at the trolls, I either refrain from commenting because I think many of the regulars are doing better on both sides, or I discuss with you, Lee, and a couple of others about our differences and similarities.

There are those here (the hosts, yourself, Lee, others) who have differences of opinion, but the best itnerests of our country and our people, or the occasional foreign perspective on our actions and nature, who express them in good faith, if with a little snark as sauce from time to time. Then there are those to whom the third-grade insult, name-calling, or poorly strung together list of accusations, half-truths, and party line bull pucky are the highest form of expression. I've offended a couple of those on both sides of the aisle, and I'm even that much of a regular here for comments.

I'm also a lousy previewer ... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

I'm also a lousy previewer when I'm typing from work, I meant to say "I'm NOT even that much of a regular here for comments."

"Also, when a threat was pe... (Below threshold)
palecon:

"Also, when a threat was perceived as serious, the Clinton Administration typically over-reacted with a heavy hand, as the Elian Gonzalez raid, the Waco raid, and the attack on Ruby Ridge demonstrate"

"The attack on Ruby Ridge" happened in Poppy Bush's administration. The full-press coverup, however, was the Clinton gang's responsibility.




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